Since the old times, a veil has been an iconic bridal accessory.
It is said that a veil is what turns a woman in a beautiful white dress into a bride!
Brides, if you thought you only had to figure out what you want in regards to your wedding dress, think again. You also need to think about your veil! Bridal veils are as unique as the brides who wear them and the wedding dresses they are meant to compliment.
Personally, I was 100% sure that I would not wear a “traditional” veil on my wedding day. I do not know why but every time I visualized my wedding look, I did not see a ‘normal’ veil on my head. In the true African mother spirit, one of my mother’s really tried to convince me to wear one, but I respectfully said no. Luckily, she let me be.
So when I found an elegant birdcage veil in one of the bridal shops, I was so excited. I loved the simplicity and it complimented my dress and the look I was going for. Years later, I am still happy with my choice.
In all honesty, there are so many veil styles, lengths and widths available and brides can feel a little overwhelmed. However, most modern brides will pick one of these 6 main ones;
- Birdcage veil
A birdcage veil is a short veil that is made of net or lace. It is also known as a bandeau veil. It only covers a portion of the bride’s face and can be styled in so many ways!
- Elbow length veil
An elbow length veil is a short veil that falls around the elbows or just below the waistline. It is sometimes called a waist length veil. It is an elegant way to cover up without wearing a bolero. It flatters almost all dress silhouettes.
- Fingertip veil
A fingertip veil is a mid-length veil that falls at or right below the fingertips (around the bride’s hips). It sometimes comes in double tier styles (a blusher to cover your face and a longer back).
- Chapel veil
A chapel veil falls right to the ground or is a couple of inches longer than the wedding dress (sweep train). The front may have a shorter blusher.
- Cathedral veil
This is the crème de la crème of veils! If you are looking for drama, THIS IS IT! This is the longest veil and makes for stunning pictures. Consider it if going for a traditional wedding look. It should be secured well in your hair as it can be heavy.
- Mantilla veil
A mantilla veil is definitely a statement piece. It can also be in cathedral length. The difference between a cathedral veil and a mantilla veil is that the entire circumference of a mantilla veil is framed in lace and it is worn 2 inches from the hairline. Remember to match the lace of your mantilla veil to your wedding dress (and especially if you are also wearing a lace wedding dress!)
Seen anything you like? Well done! Now, consider these 3 things before you make you final decision:
1. Your wedding dress
Your veil should always accentuate, enhance and be proportional to your dress. It should not overpower your dress/ distract your bridal look.
Tip; If your dress has busy details, go with a simple veil with a clean look. If your dress is simple choose a wow veil.
2. Your personal style
Your wedding look can change drastically with the addition of a veil. Consider your personal style/ personality/ overall wedding look and style. What do you want?
Tip; Be open to try a couple of veils to see what suits you best!
3. Your hairstyle
Your hairstyle is a factor to consider when choosing your veil because it affects how your veil sits. Basically the longer/ heavier your veil is, the more supportive your hairstyle needs to be.
Tip; While choosing your bridal hairstylist, remember to mention your veil style so that they may advise you better.
Ultimately, at the end of it all, it is YOUR wedding! And you are allowed to do what YOU want! Some brides do not care for veils and that is OK too. So if you don’t want to wear a veil, don’t. If you want to wear some unconventional head accessories, do.
Your wedding, your rules.
So, you have found the man, the dress and the veil of your dreams and your wedding day is well underway, but when do you take off your veil?
As with everything else, when to take off the veil is totally up to you as a bride. Some brides, especially those wearing longer veils, opt to take their veils off after the ceremony and once the pictures are done. This ensures that they have ease of movement during cocktail hour and the reception. Others swap the longer veils for a short blusher or a birdcage veil so that they can still maintain their bridal look while others opt for bridal fascinators or hair accessories.